The Gauteng Health Department has cancelled all elective surgeries in public hospitals and will be providing chronic patients with three-month supply of medicine from Monday morning in a bid to stop congestion at public health facilities.

Last week, the department also announced restrictions to be imposed on hospital visiting hours.

Only two visits per patient will be allowed.

Gauteng has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country.

The Department’s Kwara Kekana says, “All annual health events are cancelled. The Outpatients Department will reduce the number of patient visits by using the appointment system. Patients will also be encouraged to use the Pele Boxes for collection and for medication. A separate place for patients will flu-like symptoms will be identified in facilities. The Thuthuzela healthcare centres services will be extended beyond providing forensic services.”

Non-governmental organisation, Gift of the Givers, has, meanwhile, called on South Africans to unite and fight the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The map below tracks coronavirus cases across the world:

Below is a hand-washing challenge, demonstrating how to keep your hands clean to stay safe:

The NGO has begun implementing a number of measures to aid government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation has set up a testing facility in Mayfair, Johannesburg to offer COVID-19 testing at a reduced rate to all patients who meet the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) criteria.

Another two facilities will be opened in Roshnee and at The Dome in Johannesburg.

Gift of the Givers on Monday will erect tents at three hospitals in Johannesburg to separate suspected COVID-19 infected patients from the medical staff and the general public as they wait to get tested.

Gift of the Givers founder, Imitiaz Sooliman says, “Anybody who’s prepared to volunteer to help us at the dome in Johannesburg  at the hospital in Durban or our sites in Roshnee are most welcome to call in. They can call our toll free line 0800 786 911.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the nation on Sunday night after meeting with the business sector and political parties at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.